Mark day sex offender

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Enter your email address to subscribe to KVNO News and receive a daily digest of news articles by email. Two years after Nebraska followed a federal mark day sex offender to add more names to the public sex offender registry, some state senators question whether the approach makes the public any safer.

Listen Now At a recent hearing about the use of the sex offender registry before the State Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, the largest number of people offering testimony to the state senators were the people whose names are listed on the registry. I was convicted of enticement via computer in 2008. I was one of the first people charged with this crime in the state. Rung spent time in jail for attempting to set up a sexual encounter a 15-year-old girl. Until his arrest, he was unaware the person he swapped online messages with was actually a police officer.

At the time of his conviction, he knew his photo and current address would be listed on the registry for ten years. By the time he was released from prison in 2010, a new law passed by the Legislature changed the rules. Dozens of others who previously had been kept on private police lists are now publicly identified as sex offenders. Rung argues the changes made by the state are unfair and unnecessary. Others feel they’re part of an important public safety campaign.

Some members of the Legislature who supported the tougher approach two years ago now wonder if it might undermine the usefulness of the online list. It’s a debate over what has become the most prominent and, in the view of some, the most politically popular tool law enforcement created for use by the general public. Prior to the changes, Nebraska used psychological assessments to categorize convicted sex offenders into three different lists, depending on levels using the assessment of psychologists. The expert analyses determined how likely an individual was they were to again participate in a sex crime.

The lists were maintained by the State Patrol. The list of those considered to be of the lowest risk was for the private use of law enforcement. A second list of people with a higher risk of re-offending could be shared with institutions like schools and organizations that dealt with children. The people considered at the highest risk of offending again, and of the greatest concern to the public, would have their photos and addresses listed on the State Patrol’s website. She sat on a governor’s task force that reviewed how the state deals with those who commit sex crimes. They simply did not meet the criteria for being that dangerous. The current law abandons any psychological assessments in favor of rankings based solely on the type and seriousness of which crime of which they were convicted.

In the old system, someone would be placed on the registry for either ten years or his or her entire life. The new rules set timeframes at 15 years, 25 years, or life. Their names now show up almost immediately after conviction, a feature strongly supported by child safety advocates and many in law enforcement. The changes in Nebraska were part of a national push brought on by a federal law known as the Adam Walsh Act, signed by President George W. Congress wanted to create uniform reporting standards for states feeding information into a national sex offender registry. Passing the law was a major victory for advocates of tougher penalties and long-term tracking of anyone accused of sex crimes, especially those victimizing children.

Bush at the signing ceremony at the White House. Data drawn from this comprehensive registry will also be made available to the public so parents have the information they need to protect their children from sex offenders that might be in their neighborhoods. In July, Nebraska was informed that its efforts to meet the federal requirements did not go far enough, especially in the public identification of juvenile sex offenders. States failing to comply with the federal guidelines could lose some of the federally controlled money collected from drug arrests. She is among the lawmakers urging a re-examination of a law she once supported. In retrospect, we question whether we are really protecting people with the high number of people out there who aren’t truly a risk.

And the politics of that, if we will be able to change the law, are extraordinarily difficult. In October, the Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee held one in a series of hearings in advance of the likely introduction of LR 254. Brad Ashford of Omaha, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, introduced the legislation. The resolution authorizes a study of the changes in the Nebraska Registry made in 2009. It has been suggested by opponents that the state is less safe as we have shifted to a system that lumps all offenders together under a single registry instead of separating those who pose little or no risk of reoffending from those who are likely to reoffend. Sankey of the State Patrol, stated changes in the system have worked well and provide the public with more information than ever before.

The Patrol continues to maintain both the public and private lists of registered sex offenders. It’s just a community notification program. To meet that intent, we are informing the community of sex offenders that have been convicted and are out in the communities. Ashford pointed out at the hearing that there are those who believe the change in the system is an improvement. Ashford said in his prepared statement. Testimony at future hearings about the resolution will also provide an indication of public sentiment about taking a hard line on labeling sex offenders remains as strong as when the law was passed.

Members of the Judiciary Committee are currently the focus of a lobbying effort launched by people now on the registry and their families. Half a dozen of them, including Todd Rung, testified at the hearing. It’s like having a scarlet letter. Later, during an interview at his home, Rung said private counselors believe he’s unlikely to reoffend.

A father with four kids in the house, the 40-year-old, trained as a union mason, said it’s been difficult for him to get any work. He would like the state to drop its requirement that an offender’s place of employment be listed on the public registry. What employer wants that tie to a sex offender? Koenig, the therapist with Lutheran Family Services, believes the stigma of being a sex offender in the job market might actually increase the potential for re-offending. Koenig said at her office in Bellevue.